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
0

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. 


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

Updated 18 June 2019
0

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.