Saudi Arabia lets Qatari pilgrims book Umrah packages in KSA after Doha blocks online booking

Procedures have been made easier for Qatari pilgrims. (SPA)
Updated 17 May 2019

Saudi Arabia lets Qatari pilgrims book Umrah packages in KSA after Doha blocks online booking

  • Saudi Arabia simplified procedures for Qatar pilgrims

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that Qatari pilgrims can now book Umrah packages upon their arrival in the Kingdom, no longer needing to do it while in Qatar.

They will be able to do this at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the main port of entry for most pilgrims, the Saudi Press Agency reported, quoting the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

The decision was a consequence of Qatari authorities denying the pilgrims their right to electronically apply for Umrah visas at home, the ministry said.

This week Saudi Arabia activated a new web link to handle requests from Qatari nationals wishing to perform the Umrah pilgrimage.

The new link is: https://qtumra.haj.gov.sa

The ministry set up the new link because access to the previous one was blocked by Qatari authorities, SPA said.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly said that Qatari nationals are welcome to perform pilgrimages to the Kingdom, despite the diplomatic rift between the two countries. 

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates broke trade and diplomatic relations in June 2017 with Qatar, whom they accused of hosting and financing terror organizations. 


Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

Updated 23 August 2019

Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

  • The museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture

MADINAH: Dar Al-Madinah Museum offers visitors the opportunity to view historical pieces associated with the Prophet’s life. It features artifacts that capture the history, heritage, social life and culture of Madinah.

The museum’s executive director, Hassan Taher, said that it aims to promote the noble values of the Prophet Muhammad, encourage a sense of belonging and capture the history, culture and heritage of Madinah. The exhibits start with the Prophet’s life and end with the Saudi era.

Taher said: “The museum carries out specialized research in Madinah’s architectural heritage. It contains a library of relevant books, research and magazines, all of which are accessible to researchers.”

He said that the museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture.

Taher explained that when preparing the museum’s narrative, it was necessary to reconcile temporal and spatial contexts so they created an added moral and intellectual value for the visitor.

He added: “There are around 2,000 artifacts in the museum’s exhibition halls. These include antiquities, extremely accurate models, handicrafts, manuscripts, documents, correspondence, old publications, postage stamps, photographs and artworks.”

One of the museum’s most valuable exhibits is a large collection of rare pieces associated with important moments in the Prophet’s life and the history of Madinah. 

These include various parts of the Kaaba, rare coins used in Madinah during different eras, ancient pottery, Islamic manuscripts, jewelry and collectibles from the pre-Islamic era.

Taher said that the museum has a professional team of guides who speak several languages, including English, Turkish, Urdu and Malay.