Success for Saudi inventors at tech event in Moscow

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Dr. Raed bin Khaled Qarmali meets award-winning Saudi innovators. (SPA)
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Dr. Raed bin Khaled Qarmali meets award-winning Saudi innovators. (SPA)
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Dr. Raed bin Khaled Qarmali meets award-winning Saudi innovators. (SPA)
Updated 31 March 2019
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Success for Saudi inventors at tech event in Moscow

  • Dr. Raed bin Khaled Qarmali: “Saudi Arabia is full of distinguished and capable innovators”

MOSCOW: Saudi Ambassador to Russia Dr. Raed bin Khaled Qarmali on Friday met award-winning Saudi innovators at the closing ceremony of Archimedes, the 22nd Moscow International Inventions and Innovative Technology Salon.
“The Kingdom is full of distinguished and capable innovators,” he said.
Hamad Al-Yami received a gold Archimedes medal and a special prize from the German Innovators Union and the Iraqi Society of Inventors and Innovators for his invention, which makes use of nanotechnology.
Dr. Hind Abdul Ghaffar also received a gold medal, in addition to a special prize from the Romanian Inventors Forum, while Ayed Al-Subaie was awarded a gold medal and a special prize from the Moroccan Union of Inventors and a silver medal from the Iraqi Society of Inventors and Innovators.
Maram Al-Qahtani, Samia Al-Shahri, Dr. Ghada Al-Qahtani, Reem Al-Zahrani and Zahra Qaysi were presented with silver Archimedes medals.
Fatima Al-Otaibi received a bronze Archimedes medal, as did Mariam Al-Qahtani, who also received a gold medal from the Indonesian Innovation and Invention Promotion Association.


Umrah pilgrims now free to move around Saudi Arabia

Updated 2 min 30 sec ago
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Umrah pilgrims now free to move around Saudi Arabia

  • Previously, Umrah pilgrims were restricted to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah and the port city of Jeddah
  • Nearly 8 million Muslims are likely to perform Umrah this year

JEDDAH: Millions of Umrah pilgrims are to be granted the freedom to visit anywhere in the Kingdom during their stay, the Saudi Cabinet decided on Tuesday.

Muslims making the holy pilgrimage will be allowed to tour anywhere in the country as part of Saudi Arabia’s plans to boost tourism and the economy.

“The Cabinet has decided to exclude people coming to perform Umrah and to visit the Prophet’s Mosque (in Madinah), of the prohibition of movement outside Makkah, Madinah, and Jeddah. A royal decree has been prepared to this effect,” the acting media minister, Issam bin Saeed, said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Previously, Umrah pilgrims were restricted to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah and the port city of Jeddah.

FASTFACT

 

Vision 2030 aims to increase the country’s capacity to welcome Umrah visitors from 8 million to 30 million every year.

Nearly 8 million Muslims will perform Umrah in the Kingdom this year, and the Cabinet’s move will enable them to enjoy a broader experience of Saudi Arabia by visiting key landmarks, historic sites, tourist attractions and shopping centers.

“We are looking to enrich the experience of pilgrims and facilitate their arrival,” Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, told Arab News. “Traveling around the Kingdom is an opportunity for pilgrims to visit cultural and tourist sites.

“At the same time, they will be allowed to arrive at any port in the country which will facilitate their arrival and expand the capacity to receive more pilgrims.”

Ministers hope their decision will help toward reaching Saudi Arabia’s goal of receiving 30 million Umrah pilgrims by 2030.

In the past, pilgrims were allowed to convert their visas into a tourist visa on the condition that they were registered with a tourism program. “This is no longer a requirement,” said Al-Maddah.

He added that they would now be free to plan visits to other Saudi cities, tourist destinations, festivals and events, within the period of their visa validity.

Al-Maddah said: “We want to make it available to everyone in order to enrich the experience of the pilgrims, which is one of the goals of Vision 2030.”

He noted that the authority responsible for implementing the Cabinet’s decision would be the Interior Ministry.