Security forces fully prepared for Ramadan Umrah season

Security services are ready to implement Umrah plans. (SPA)
Updated 05 May 2019

Security forces fully prepared for Ramadan Umrah season

  • A traffic plan was developed for the season as well as a crowd control strategy
  • Services for the elderly and disabled will be offered

MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia’s security forces have completed their preparations for Umrah season, as part of their efforts to provide the best possible services to pilgrims during Ramadan, allowing them to perform their rituals safely and with ease.

Maj. Gen. Saeed Al-Qarni, commander of Umrah security forces, confirmed the readiness of the security services to implement Umrah plans, developed under the supervision of the director of public security and adopted by the minister of interior, that aim to ensure the safety, security and comfort of citizens, residents, visitors and pilgrims.

Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Ahmadi, assistant commander of Umrah security forces, said that the Public Security Department conducted training courses to improve the skills of staff and make it easier for them to manage the large crowds that gather at the Grand Mosque in Makkah during Umrah season.

He said that the security plan for the mosque has three main aspects: Organizational, for managing and controlling crowds; security, to protect pilgrims and ensure their safety; and humanitarian, focusing on assistance for the elderly and infirm, the sick, children and those who get lost.

Al-Ahmadi said that the Mataf surrounding the Kaaba can accommodate up to 107,000 people at a time: 30,000 of them in the immediate area around the Kaaba, 10,800 on the ground floor, 28,500 on the first floor, 2,000 on a floor designed for people with special needs, and 36,000 on the roof.

Maj. Gen. Khalid Al-Dabib, assistant commander of Umrah security forces for road security, said that operations began 72 hours previously to implement entry and exit procedures in Makkah. A traffic plan was developed for Umrah season, he added, by studying previous plans to identify shortcomings and enhance the benefits. One of the results is an interactive map that will provide the best routes for pilgrims to take.

Maj. Gen. Fahd Al-Osaimi, director of Makkah Police, said that his officers stand ready to maintain order, fight crime, investigate any criminal allegations and provide assistance to anyone who needs it.

High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019

High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.