Projected Haj spending reaches SR17 billion

Updated 30 September 2015

Projected Haj spending reaches SR17 billion

MAKKAH: The volume of spending expected during the current Haj season is approximately SR17 billion, according to Maher Saleh Jamal, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Talking to an online newspaper, Maher Saleh Jamal said that spending is expected to increase during next year's Haj season once the expansion plan of the Holy Mosque in Makkah is completed.
He further confirmed that this year, the Haj and Umrah sectors have been running at a loss due to a reduction in the number of Haj pilgrims coming to the country. The most badly affected sector has reportedly been the accommodation sector, which now has a surplus of 700,000 beds. According to Jamal, all sectors related to Haj have suffered over the past three years due to the expansion project of the Holy Mosque.
Jamal said that the one of the major economic industries in Makkah is the accommodation sector, where massive investments have been made in hotel rooms, apartments, and residential buildings. Regarding spending levels during Haj season, he said that total figures usually reach SR26 billion per year, yet this figure has declined by 20 percent to just SR17 billion since the expansion works began.

185 disabled Saudi children ready for new academic year

Updated 42 min 3 sec ago

185 disabled Saudi children ready for new academic year

RIYADH:  Saudi Arabia’s Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) finished its preparations for the new academic year with the completion of its educational programs aimed at developing children’s mental, cognitive and motor skills.

The DCA’s centers are getting ready to welcome around 185 new students, who will be enrolled in the preparatory and elementary stages. The association is also housing early intervention children in 11 centers throughout the Kingdom.

“The DCA’s centers finished their preparations early in line with the directives of Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, chairman of the association’s board of directors,” said Awadh Al-Ghamdi, the DCA’s secretary-general.

He added: “The association is keeping pace with new technologies by developing the educational care system every year. It continuously adopts new methods for children with special needs by providing the centers with what is necessary for the development of linguistic, social and psychological skills.

“The DCA held consultative meetings to approve an implementation mechanism by consulting experts from the educational committee at King Saud University about the importance of establishing an innovative resources room in all of the DCA centers.

Al-Ghamdi said: “The project will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education after it is judged by specialists from Saudi universities and adopted as part of the association’s initiatives. This comes as a continuation of the DCA’s role in caring for children with special needs for more than 35 years.”

The director of the DCA’s center in Al-Rass governorate presented the project’s original idea, which included reviewing the centers’ educational care programs according to modern educational trends.

A working group, which included a number of specialists, was assigned to the investigation. It presented a final vision to the DCA’s secretariat with a guide to the project’s implementation.